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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 November 2005, 16:57 GMT
Veteran cars take to the streets
Cars start arriving in Brighton's Preston Park

A record number of almost 500 cars - all more than 100 years old - battled the wind and rain to take part in the annual London to Brighton rally.

Organisers said the 60-mile run had seen its "traditional" share of breakdowns but dozens crossed the finish line on the south coast.

The race is said to be the longest running motoring event in the world.

It was first held in 1896 to celebrate the new 14mph speed limit and has run every year, except during the war.

Event director Roger Etcell said: "The weather is not causing as much of a problem as you might expect, especially not in terms of the time it is taking to complete the course."

It is all about endurance and the drivers will do anything they can to make it to Brighton
Event director Roger Etcell

Mechanical help has been available to drivers along the route with a special repair centre also set up in Crawley, West Sussex.

And Mr Etcell added only "totally unrepairable" breakdowns at the roadside would prevent participants from reaching the finish line.

"It is all about endurance and the drivers will do anything they can to make it to Brighton," he said.

More than 100 of the cars were driven through Regent Street in London on Saturday in preparation for the rally.

This year 89 of the 487 entrants were from abroad, organisers said.

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